Monday, December 12, 2011

Interview with Drew Maples

Tell us about you.
I currently live in Orlando, Florida, and I've been writing fiction for almost seven years. I just put out my first short story collection, Reflector (and other short stories), in October. Sometimes, I felt afraid to publish my writing...with each and every thing that I write, it seems that more memories are taken from me. That can be hard to cope with sometimes. I've finally stepped past that, and I'm glad I did. I've made so many new friends over the last few months, and I'm sure that I have many more friends to make in the future. 
Tell us about your book.

Reflector (and other short stories) is certainly one of a kind. It literally includes a story for everyone. The headlining story, Reflector, is about a guy performing magic tricks from a special deck of cards. First, he starts showing regular tricks...but then things get crazy. He begins to mirror images on the backs and faces of the cards...the images include the fears of the one who is watching him perform the tricks. Several tricks later, the magician poses him with one question, "If you could have the answer to any question...what would you ask?" The magician warns him of the consequences, and the spectator finally chooses his question to ask. 

That's just one story in the collection...The whole collection is full of suspense, romance, and twists. 
What inspired you to write this particular story?
I had several methods of inspiration when it comes to the whole collection, but I'll talk about Reflector again. We as humans, we all have dreams. Dreams such as things we want to accomplish in life, and dreams that we have, overnight, while sleeping. Those dreams are sometimes hard to remember...but I can't forget this night. I was in a state between being awake and asleep, and the whole idea just flew through my head. I jumped out of bed, grabbed a pen, and quickly scribbled the idea down. A few days later, I sat down in front of Pages and wrote the entire story.

What can readers expect when they open your book? Give us something that isn t on the book blurb.

What can readers expect? Readers can expect a variety. As I said, this is my first publication...So readers can really expect everything. I have people ask me what kind of fiction I write, and the truth is, I just love writing in general. Reflector is certainly a story from The Twilight Zone, but other stories in the collection will definitely put a smile on your face. Some of the stories will make you cringe, and some of the stories will ask if your happy with the way things are in your life. It's who I am. Each of the stories mean a lot to me, and I know that you'll enjoy them. 
How old were you when you started writing?
I started writing fiction when I was thirteen years old...It was my escape from life. I'll never forget the moment that I decided to be writer. I had just finished a book by Ted Dekker called "Thr3e." I literally set it down thinking how awesome it was...and said, "Hey, I want to write." The first idea I ever had was a novella called "The Lost Soldier's Journal." Maybe I'll publish it one day. 
Do you stick with one genre, or have you branched out to others? Which ones?
With this short story collection, I kind of branched out with my genres, but I'm putting out a novel in April. The genre that I'm going to stick with from the novel on is definitely going to be supernatural. I'm a huge horror fan, but I don't really incorporate themes that you see in today's horror movies. I focus on the lighter side of things. 
Where do you get your ideas?
I get my ideas from a variety of things. It seems to me that the more I read, I write. With each book we read, movie we watch, or song we listen to...our imagination grows. I get a lot of ideas from dreams, but I love just taking walks outside and thinking of new ideas. 
Who is your greatest inspiration?

This is a tough one. I have so many inspirations, but I if I had to pick one...I would say Rod Serling, the
creator of the Twilight Zone. I may only be 20 years old, but I've seen every episode of that TV show. Some of the greatest writers of all time had stories that were made into episodes. A huge inspiration. 

What are you reading right now?

Right now, I am reading a book called "11/22/63" by Stephen King. So far, it's awesome. Someone finds a worm-hole through time, and his friend goes to prevent the assassination of JFK. I've always been a big fan of King, but so far, this is one of my favorites. I'm also reading Amanda Hocking's sequel to Hollowland, Hollowmen. It's great as well. 

Who are your favorite authors?

My favorite authors are Stephen King, Ted Dekker, Amanda Hocking, Tim Burton, and Michael Crane. I'm also into old stuff as well. I love C.S. Lewis and Edgar Allen Poe. Great writers. 

What is your current project?

A Fool To Guide You, the novel coming out in April, is the story of a family who takes an extended weekend visit to a lake cabin in hopes of forgetting the past and re-kindling the flame in their marriage. Their eight year old son, Jacob, oblivious to his father's past, doesn't understand the failure that he sees in his parent's relationship. Jacob simply knew that the trip was supposed to help. Brian and Kristin simply hope that the cabin is going to be a way to bring them closer together, but the forces at the cabin have a different plan. Will their love for each other be enough, or will the darkness use Brian's past against him to tear their marriage apart once and for all?

I'm really excited for this to be coming out. It was my NaNoWriMo project in 2008, and I'm finally getting a chance to iron out its issues. I'm going to be running a Kickstarter project next month to fund it. 

What do you feel is your greatest accomplishment as a writer?
I honestly feel that the short story collection that I just published is one of my greatest accomplishments. I've been writing for quite a while, and each of these stories mean a lot to me. 
Have you experienced any setbacks for your writing along the way? If so, will you share with us.

A huge setback for me when it comes to writing is simply finding the time to write. I work full time for a hospitality organization, and I get scheduled some crazy hours. It's horrible. 
How did you overcome these setbacks?

Forcing myself to find time to write. November just ended, and I had a pretty successful National Novel Writing Month. A Fool to Guide You is in the final editing stages. ...oh, and you know, taking the occasional sick day from work helps. ;) 
Do you believe in writer s block?
Absolutely not. I believe in mood and laziness. 
What is the best writing advice you ve ever received?
I read a book by Stephen Kind called, "On Writing." That book is full of insight...I think every writer should read it. 
What is the best advice you have for other writers?
Never give up. Not just in writing, but everything. Set yourself a goal, and no matter what, complete it. 
What is more important to you, plot or character?
Every story has to have developed character(s)...but every story also has to have a plot. They are two very important things. 
Are you a panster or a plotter?

 ...and the truth comes out. I'm a panster. I'll think up a title sometimes, and I'll think of a story that clicks. It works for me. 

Preferred POV to write.
First, without a doubt. 
Preferred POV to read.
I also love reading in first person...I feel that it's a little more personal. 
Tell us 5 Random things about you the person, not the author
1. : I work and train in Children's Activities at two of Walt Disney World's deluxe resorts. 
2. : My favorite film is The Nightmare Before Christmas. 
3. : I secretly wish that there'd be a zombie apocalypse; I'd survive. 
4. : My favorite band is Framing Hanley. Check them out. 
5. : I played ice hockey for almost 10 years. 

Where to connect online:

What format does your book(s) come in?
Reflector is available Digitally, but A Fool To Guide You will be coming out in paperback. 

Where to buy your book.